Why Do Indians Touch Feet? – The practice of touching feet is deeply entrenched in Indian culture and has a long-standing tradition that has been passed down through generations. It is seen as a sign of respect and humility, typically done when greeting elders or those older than us.
But what lies behind the science of touching feet? What are the actual health benefits of this practice? In this blog post, we will cover the significance, science, occasions, and health reasons for why Indians touch their feet, as well as how to do it properly.
What is the significance of touching feet in India?
In India, touching someone’s feet is a sign of respect. The act is often done in greeting, as a way to show deference to an elder or superior, or as part of a religious ceremony. There are many legends and stories about the origins of this custom, but the most likely explanation is that it stems from the traditional Indian practice of prostrating before a person of high status.
While touching feet may have started out as a way to show reverence, it has also been linked with various health benefits. For example, some believe that touching the feet can help improve circulation and relieve stress. Additionally, some evidence suggests that foot massage can reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
Touching feet is not just reserved for elders or superiors – it can be done between friends and family members. Many believe that the act helps build stronger relationships and bonds between people. If you are unsure whether or not you should touch someone’s feet, ask them first – most people will be more than happy to let you know if it’s okay.
The science behind touching feet
The science behind touching feet is that it helps stimulate the pressure points on the soles of the feet, promoting relaxation and well-being. There are many pressure points on the feet, each having a different effect on the body. Touching the feet can also help to improve circulation and relieve pain.
There are many benefits to touching feet, but it is essential to do it respectfully. Only touch the feet of someone older than you or with whom you have a close relationship. When touching the feet of elders, it is essential to be gentle and humble.
There is also a scientific reason behind this custom. Touching feet releases oxytocin in the brain, known as the “love hormone”. Oxytocin is responsible for feelings of happiness, love, and bonding. So, when you touch someone’s feet, you increase their oxytocin levels and make them feel good!
On which occasions should you touch feet?
In India, the practice of touching the feet of elders is typically done on special occasions, such as:
- Religious festivals
- Before embarking on a journey
- Upon returning home
It is also common for children to touch the feet of their parents and grandparents every day as a sign of respect. Words of appreciation and gratitude often accompany the practice, and the person whose feet are being touched may offer blessings or words of wisdom in return. The significance and meaning of the practice may vary from one cultural or spiritual tradition to another.
Whose feet should you touch?
Here is a list of people whose feet are commonly touched in India as a sign of respect:
- Holy men
- Respected figures or community leaders
It is important to note that the practice of touching the feet of elders is not limited to Hindus and is followed by people of many different religions in India. The significance and meaning of the practice may vary from one cultural or spiritual tradition to another.
Some people may touch certain individuals’ feet as a way of seeking blessings or guidance, while others may do so as a sign of respect and reverence.
Health reasons for touching feet
There are many health reasons for touching feet. For example, it can help to improve circulation, relieve stress, and promote relaxation. It can also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Additionally, touch
The Right Way To Touch The Feet
Here are some guidelines for touching the feet of elders in India:
- Approach the person with respect and reverence.
- Kneel down and bring your forehead to the feet of the person.
- Place your hands on the feet or knees as a sign of devotion.
- Stay in this position for a few moments, then stand up and receive any blessings or words of wisdom that the person may offer.
It is important to approach the practice with a sincere and respectful attitude. It is not necessary to touch the feet of every elder you meet, but it is a gesture of respect traditionally offered to parents, grandparents, and other elders as a sign of reverence and appreciation for their guidance and wisdom.
Some other points to remember before Touching feet
If you decide to touch someone’s feet, there are certain etiquette rules that you should follow.
- First, always ask permission before doing so.
- Second, use your right hand to touch the person’s right foot.
- Third, ensure your hands are clean before touching someone’s feet.
- Lastly, avoid touching feet if you are sick or have any open wounds on your hands.
Why does the wife touch the feet of her husband in India?
In some parts of India, it is traditional for a wife to touch her husband’s feet as a sign of respect and devotion. This gesture is typically done daily to express gratitude and seek blessings from the husband.
It is also done on special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and religious festivals. The practice is based on the belief that the husband is the head of the household and is responsible for providing for and protecting his family.
By touching his feet, the wife expresses her appreciation and respect for his role and seeks his guidance and support. It is important to note that the practice of touching the feet of elders is not limited to Hindus and is followed by people of many different religions in India.
The significance and meaning of the practice may vary from one cultural or spiritual tradition to another.
Is touching of feet practiced in Hinduism only?
In other religious traditions in India, touching the feet may have different meanings and significance. For example, in Sikhism, the practice of “charan pahul” involves touching the feet of the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhism) to seek blessings and guidance.
In Buddhism, the practice of “wai” involves bowing and touching the hands together at the chest, which is seen as a way of showing respect and seeking blessings.
Conclusion – Why Do Indians Touch Feet?
Touching the feet of elders is an important part of Indian culture, and it has religious, social, and health benefits. By touching the feet of our elders, we show them respect and honor their wisdom. This practice also provides many health benefits, like improved circulation and posture. We hope that this article helped you better understand when to touch the feet of elders and how to properly do so.